*UPDATE* The good folks at BBLauncher.com have decided that $7 is too much for individual users to be paying for the service and have reduced the price to just $3, any users that have purchased a launcher under the $7 price point will be issued partial refunds for their purchases as per their 30 day satisfaction guarantee policy. Awesome and now more affordable, Bonus! *
Granted this *should* be something you can do within the native BlackBerry operating system and at $7 $3 a pop (unlimited usage/distribution rights once you create one) the service isn't is now super cheap for individual use, but I know there's going to be a lot of BlackBerry users and abusers and businesses out there who are all over this...
A new website recently launched, BBLauncher.com, which allows you to create your own custom web browser shortcuts for your BlackBerry homescreen. The process only takes a few minutes, is pretty straight forward (just read/follow the instructions on the site and on the readme file once you receive your .zip) and it works. After first visiting BBLauncher.com I went through their process - in the screenshot above you're looking at the custom launcher I created for my BlackBerry Storm (more images after the jump). For lack of creative skills, I used pictures of myself for the two icon states, which when clicked opens the Today's BlackBerry Posts for our mobile-optimized CrackBerry forums.
Key features include:
Support for localized titles and descriptions in all major languages supported on BlackBerry devices.
Users can upload custom icon images (PNG or GIF) and even specify different icons for different target devices since not all devices use the same icon size.
Support for defining custom rollover/focus icons as well.
Support for all version 4.0 and up devices.
Unlimited and unrestricted redistribution rights.
The custom continuous build engine developed by BBLauncher.com allows the creation and delivery of the final JAD/COD/ALX files within minutes of the user completing their payment via PayPal. When I went through the process I had my .zip in my inbox in four minutes. They include both the .alx file for Desktop Manager installation and .cod/.jad file if you want to upload it to a web server for wireless install (I show the OTA install in the screen caps).
Definitely a cool service. I couldn't help but chuckle after I installed my custom launcher. Not so long ago RIM went through a phase of 'partnerships' and press announcements where the 'apps' being launched were nothing more than these browser shortcuts. Gotta love that a little entrepreneurial drive and ingenuity can now get that done automatically in 4 minutes for $7 $3.
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